field emission

noun Physics.
the removal of electrons from a metallic conductor by a strong electric field.

Origin:
1925–30

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World English Dictionary
field emission
 
n
the emission of electrons from a solid or liquid subjected to a high electric field

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Science Dictionary
field emission  
The emission of electrons from the surface of a conductor, caused by a strong electric field. Field emission is used to create electron beams in certain electron microscopes, as well as in flat-panel computer and television displays, in which the electron beams produce light by striking a phosphor-coated screen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

field emission

discharge of electrons from the surface of a material subjected to a strong electric field. In the absence of a strong electric field, an electron must acquire a certain minimum energy, called the work function, to escape through the surface of a given material, which acts as a barrier to electron passage. If the material is placed in an electric circuit that renders it strongly negative with respect to a nearby positive electrode (i.e., when it is subjected to a strong electric field), the work function is so lowered that some electrons will have sufficient energy to leak through the surface barrier. The resulting current of electrons through the surface of a material under the influence of a strong electric field is called field emission. This effect is utilized in the field-emission electron microscope, which in some instances achieves resolution of atomic dimensions. Field emission is sometimes called high-field emission to distinguish it from the Schottky effect (q.v.), which influences electron emission at lower values of the applied field

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The cold field emission microscope eliminates the conventional electron source that illuminates the sample.
Two of these, field emission and metal-vacuum-metal tunneling, were explored in some detail.
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